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China reacts to Dalai Lama’s declaration over Tibet
Phayul[Tuesday, October 28, 2008 21:54]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, October 28: China today urged the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama to “fulfil his promises over Tibet” and said contacts with him over the proposed talks later this month were underway, according to a report by China’s state-run news agency.

The details of the next possible round of contact were still under negotiation, Xinhua reported Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying at a regular press conference on Tuesday.

"From what I understand, there is further communication underway on the arrangements for the contacts and consultations," Jiang was quoted as saying on Tuesday by Reuters.

According to the Xinhua report, Jiang stressed the Chinese central government always adhered to consistent, explicit policies towards the Dalai Lama, and also adopted a sincere attitude in making contact with him.

She was reportedly responding to a question concerning the Dalai Lama's declaration on Oct. 25 at a huge function in Dharamsala, his exile base in northern India, in which he said he was losing faith in dealing with Chinese government over the future of Tibet.

The revered Tibetan leader Saturday said even after sincerely pursuing his “mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy” for a long time there hasn’t been any positive response from the Chinese side.

In that case, he said he had now asked the Tibetan government-in-exile to decide in consultation with the Tibetan people on how to take the dialogue forward and asked the fellow Tibetan people to make all efforts to discuss on the future course action during the proposed “special meeting” next month.

The 73-year old Tibetan leader maintained that the final decision regarding Tibet would be made by Tibetan people by saying the “issue of Tibet is the issue of Tibetan people and not the issue of the Dalai Lama alone”.

The Dalai Lama last month called a ‘special meeting’ of Tibetan exiles in November to discuss the future of their cause. The meeting will be held from 17 to 22 November.

The Dalai Lama Saturday said he did this in response to the lack of any sincere response from the Chinese government in the dialogue process and the worsening situation inside Tibet following the widespread anti-China protests from all sections of Tibetan people across the region earlier this year.

Dalai Lama’s comments came ahead of a new round of talks planned between his envoys and Chinese government officials at the end of this month.

“The Dalai Lama and his supporters should seriously carry out the promises made in July this year, if they really wanted to improve relations with the Chinese central government,” Jiang was quoted as saying by the Xinhua report.

"If the Dalai's side truly wants to improve relations with the Chinese government, it should resolutely observe the commitments made in the July bilateral discussions," Reuters quoted her as saying.

In those talks, China demanded that that the Buddhist leader should not support any efforts seeking Tibetan independence.

China repeatedly accuses the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to split Tibet from the rest of the country. The Dalai Lama says he is only seeking a real and meaningful autonomy for all Tibetans within the constitutional framework of the People's Republic of China.

During the seventh round of talks in July, Tibetans envoys experienced a hardening of stance from Communist Party representatives. After returning from talks, the Tibetan representatives repeatedly reiterated their calls on China on the need to hold result-oriented talks at various avenues.

“In the absence of serious and sincere commitment on [the Chinese] part, the continuation of the present dialogue process would serve no purpose,” Lodi G. Gyari, the special envoy of the Dalai Lama, recently said at a public appearance.
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